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Voices of the Global Community


Betsy McCalla-Wriggins, NACADA President 

Dear Colleagues,

What a wonderful site we found in Salt Lake City: two luxurious hotels, free transportation within the downtown area (they have long blocks), wonderful restaurants within walking distance, and welcoming people!

The Olympic presence was still in evidence as well, and it made me think about the similarities between those involved with that great event and those of us in advising. As advisors we really serve as coaches to our students. Granted they are not all superstars, but even superstars... otherwise known as gifted students... still need words of encouragement and support.

Our association is also somewhat similar to the Olympic sponsors. Providing resources to the athletes enables them to compete and 'go for the gold' just as NACADA provides each of us with ways to enhance the way we serve our students. So, let me share with you some of the issues the NACADA Board of Directors discussed in early April at the mid-year meeting. We hope that these initiatives will continue to support you as you strive for that 'peak performance' on your own campus.

The Newsletter goes to electronic delivery with this issue. It includes more articles on advising in addition to the Association news (printed copies will also be sent to chief academic officers at all institutions to increase the visibility with central administrators). Our long term goal is to increase the frequency of the Newsletter and to have it be 'the' place for members to go to get up-to date information on what is happening within our association. We are considering a format similar to the online version of the Chronicle... so let us know what you think about this new approach.

An Advising Administrators' Institute is being planned for a warm location in January or February of 2003. It will probably be scheduled from Wednesday through Friday noon and is being designed for academic advising administrators facing issues ranging from budgeting to leadership to strategic planning. This new Institute will become an annual offering and will be somewhat patterned after the ever popular Academic Advising Summer Institute. A group of seasoned NACADA administrators is currently developing the curriculum. Stay tuned for more details.

Another group of NACADA members is drafting a proposal to encourage/permit members to visit and examine programs on others campuses. The premise is to share ideas by actually seeing what others are doing and seeing the setting in which it works. We have been using the term, Advisor Exchange, however we want to make it clear that this program will be open to all members of NACADA... faculty, full-time advisors, directors, deans, and other administrators. If you have some thoughts about a good name for this exciting initiative, let me know.

The Certification Task Force presented its recommendation that the Association formally pursue an Advising Certificate Program. They examined all angles related to 'endorsing' advisors and believe that such a program would be beneficial to the profession. Therefore, I am appointing a Task Force to begin to address how such a program would function.

Another 'Certificate' initiative is under study as well. We are considering a joint venture with Kansas State University that would deliver at a distance graduate courses related to advising and would lead to a graduate certificate in advising. Our hope is that the courses would be comprised of a set of modules that could also provide non-credit professional development opportunities for those not interested in earning graduate credit.

Great leaders have served this association as President. However, after their terms ended, there were few opportunities to continue to capitalize on their skills, history, and leader-ship qualities. Therefore, we are establishing a Past Presidents' Council to whom we can turn for their wise counsel on topics that are challenging the current leadership. Their views from past discussions should help us be more insightful and more efficient in our deliberations, especially as we move to the new organizational structure.

As you can see, there are exciting things happening within our association. Many people all over the country are contributing to the development of new programs that will enhance your profession and your professional development opportunities. I thank them all. Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Come to Salt Lake City in late September and share in our excitement. We know that being there will 'light the fire within!'

Betsy McCalla-Wriggins

Cite this article using APA style as: McCalla-Wriggins B. (2002, June). From the president. Academic Advising Today, 25(2). [insert url here]

Posted in: 2002 June 25:2


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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.